What did you know about Jesus Christ Superstar before you got involved?
Laughton Kora: I've been listening to it for years, and watching the film, and I've seen it live a couple of times, amateur styles. I've never really been biblical, so I didn't get into it for that side of things, but I always thought the rock side was cool.
Jeremy Redmore: I've never seen the show, never saw the movie. My parents had the soundtrack on vinyl, so I heard it a bit when I was a kid, and I didn't like it. I'd put it on, and go 'Argh, what the hell is that?!'
Julia Deans: I think I saw the movie when I was a teenager, and all my friends at school who were really into musicals knew it, so we all learned I Don't Know How To Love Him, and Everything's All Right, and we'd sing them in the music room at lunch time. And then I saw the early 90s show that had Margaret Urlich and Mark Hadlow in it. It was great.
What made you say yes to doing a musical?
LK: Well, when I found out who else might be involved, that was mostly my attraction to it. I've always liked the idea that if you do a musical, you should get musicians involved.
JR: I'm on a bit of a new things buzz at the moment, so I got asked out of the blue, and I've been trying out lots of weird stuff over the past couple of years so I thought, why not?
JD: I guess I'd done Brel and Joni Mitchell recently, which are more music in a theatrical setting. But I was a little bit nervous and hesitant about doing this.
LK: Because of the cheese factor?
JD: Yeah, and I wasn't sure about the whole acting thing. One of the things that made the proposition really attractive was knowing that Leon Radojkovic was doing the music, because I'd worked with him on Brel, and I knew that the music would be in really good hands.
Tell me about your characters - are they faithful to the original story or have they been modified?
LK: I think Oliver has done a good job in honouring the storyline and the relationships. I've seen a few productions that are just all about the wow factor, and I quite like the way that this has been taken back to the human element, which is part of the intimacy of it.
So I play Judas, and in the Bible he's kinda the bad guy, but really he's just good mates with Jesus, and I like working with that idea. And grappling with the idea of turning your mate in, and whether or not he meant for Jesus to die. There's a touch of jealousy, too, of course, the guitarist mentality in a band.
JR: I play Simon and, according to Wikipedia, he is the most obscure of the apostles, because no one knows who he actually was. There are all these theories, but basically it's a character that's open to interpretation. I think of him as a hanger-on kind of guy, who started doing the doorlist and selling merch, and then he got to play tambourine one night, and then all of a sudden he's graduated to the guitar and he's in the band. I want to be Jesus basically. I'm a little bit nuts, kind of crazy-eyed, but I'm kind of a hype man as well.
JD: And I'm Mary who, in our world, was one of JC's slutty groupies, and she's sort of been absorbed into the backing vocalists trio, and has got it going on with JC. She's quite smitten.
Do you get to play instruments?
LK: Yeah, I get to play a bit of guitar.
JD: Not me. Apparently chicks don't play guitars. I don't even get a tambourine.
JR: I play a little bit of acoustic, but it's more a drunken shanty.
So is this going to be a musical for people who don't like musicals?
LK: I think they'll enjoy the whole experience, it's not like a normal stage performance.
JD: The audience will be deeply involved in the whole show, they're right in there, and the action will be going on all around them.
JR: We won't be dragging anyone on stage and handing them a mic though.
JD: You never know! I wouldn't be surprised if people get a bit carried away.
JR: I don't go to a lot of musicals, but this is totally different to any other musical I've seen or been involved in. It's going to be really cool to go along to I reckon.
LK: It's going to be a really gangsta musical. The music is gonna be really fresh, the artists are all pretty fresh, and the concept is fresh. It'll be gangsta as. Jesus the gangsta.